MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 2/19/18
Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION – “Wanderlust”
You don’t often see songs over eight minutes long these days because they kind of go against the grain of the short attention span culture that we’re living in today. While Black Country Communion was formed in 2009, the roots of the members of this supergroup stretch back to a time when epic rock songs had their place in the rock and roll landscape.
Having Glenn Hughes at the helm, you might expect a mystical melody line and haunting vocals on a track like this, but he delivers something unexpected on “Wanderlust.” There are moments of mystique and upper register power, but for the most part, the vocals are more of the sweet, uplifting, AOR variety.
The underlying music follows suit, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. When Joe Bonamassa shreds, he shows that he is undeniably one of the best blues rock guitarists around. Drummer Jason Bonham is rock solid throughout, and plays in perfect harmony with Hughes’ on bass. And keyboardist Derek Sherinian demonstrates that his skills go well beyond the complexities that he is known for with Dream Theater. Though the keyboard parts on “Wanderlust” are pronounced, they are more about adding nuance to the melody than showcasing his virtuosity.
Often times, when songs are this long, you feel a sort of mental exhaustion that requires you to take a break before listening to it again. Somehow, BCC has masterfully delivered an epic piece that makes you want to hit replay again and again.
KLASSIK ‘78 – “World On Fire”
If you’re like most hard rock fans that grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, KISS is undoubtedly one of your greatest influences. Today’s version of the band is a far cry from what the band once was back in the day (much to the dismay of nostalgic fans who long for the band’s glory days). What if KISS has continued down the same path that they were on during their heyday instead of veering off in an entirely different direction? What would their music sound like? You need not wonder anymore!
Klassik ’78 has turned back the hands of time forty years with their modern-day take on what many of us still wish that KISS sounded like. No one is going to say that Klassik ’78 is reinventing the wheel. If anything, they have merely continued rolling the wheel that so many of us loved down the rock and roll highway. In my eyes, there’s no shame in that game.
However, if you’re going to have a clearly derivative sound of a “klassik” band, you better do a kickass job of it so that you look like a continuation rather than a parody. Klassik ’78 has done just that with “World On Fire.” If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear that this was one of the numerous songs from Gene Simmons’ recently revealed vault. You’d also wonder why the hell KISS never released this gem!
If Greta Van Fleet can become a revered modern day rock act with music that sounds like the continuation of Led Zeppelin’s career, there’s no reason that Klassik ’78 cannot write an unexpected chapter of rock and roll “KISStory” in 2018.
KURT ARFT – HRD Music Scout
L.A. GUNS – “Speed”
It took 14 years for Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns to finally get back together to start making music again, but ever since 2016, it’s been full “Speed” ahead for L.A. Guns. Known for their sleazy, dirty, sexy brand of music, the duo has assembled quite the supporting cast of players from L.A. Guns’ past (in addition to Gun’s other projects) to create a powerful new version of the band. The current incarnation features Michael Grant (guitar), Johnny Martin (bass), and Shane Fitzgibbons (drums).
The energy from this unit has created a renewed lease on life for L.A. Guns, and the new guitar duo of Guns and Grant has proven to be quite a shot in the arm for the band. The playing styles of the young and old guard complement each other nicely.
After releasing The Missing Peace in October of 2017, L.A. Guns has been touring pretty consistently in support of the new album.
Listening to “Speed” is like taking a time machine back to the band’s debut, self-titled album. It has the same energy as tracks like “Show No Mercy,” and “Sex Action.”
Guns is a guitar player that is underrated and underappreciated for what he brings to the table. Lewis’ voice has never sounded better. Grant is really coming into his own; being paired up with Guns has fast-tracked his rise as a guitar player. Martin’s energetic bass playing provides a great foundation, and Fitzgibbons has captured the essence of classic L.A. Guns with his drumming and backing vocals.
Having witnessed this lineup in person, I can tell you that L.A. Guns has a new fire in their belly. The energy, the showmanship, the image, and the music are all off the charts. It’s as if this lineup has been playing together forever. The reunion of Lewis and Guns is good for both hard rock music and fans of the band.
BULLETBOYS – “D-Evil”
Bulletboys are back with a new lineup and new music. Still leading the charge is frontman/guitarist Marq Torien, who has been at the helm since forming the band in 1987 in Los Angeles. Having weathered several band member changes, the passage of time, and a changing musical landscape, Torien and company are set to release their latest effort (From Out Of The Skies) on March 23rd.
Bulletboys have not really been on my radar since the release of their debut album, but there is something different, new, and exciting about this upcoming effort, especially their lead single off of the album, “D-Evil.”
Torien known for his flamboyant, raucous stage delivery, does not disappoint with this newest song. The musicality on this track is influenced by the music of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The fun atmosphere and imagery on the video for the song is awesome! It harkens back to the days of a Vegas show/carnival/swanky dance club.
Phil Varone (Saigon Kick, Skid Row, Red Dragon Cartel) is on the kit in this one (though he is not a member of the full time band). A cameo by Hellyeah’s Christian Brady, along with a sexy belly dancer with a snake, really complete the show for this video and song.
I’m really digging the music and this fresh direction that the Bulletboys have taken. Torien has reinvented himself while maintaining his original likeability and presence. Be on the lookout for this record when it comes out. I’m predicting that this one will be on the list of my top albums for the year.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com